Churchill Conversations – Dave Sargent On Working With ABUK

With our exceptional pedigree, and the platform we have as a major player in the security industry, we’d be doing a disservice to our community if we didn’t use that to benefit the people who make us what we are. That’s best exemplified through our own commitment to charity work, and that of our community’s.

As a People First business, being offered the opportunity to sponsor the latest event from Autism Beaudon, Understanding Kindness (ABUK) was a fantastic opportunity, and one we’re honoured to take part in. It’s an incredibly worth cause, and that was only cemented after we sat down with a key proponent of the charity, Dave Sargent.

You’ll find our full interview with him below, but suffice it to say that his passion, enthusiasm and effort are contagious, and that this first event of what Dave hopes will be many is set to be a roaring success.

Without further ado, let’s hear from Dave himself.


A Few Questions With Dave Sargent – On ABUK, This Event & The Future


Tell us a little bit about yourself, Dave.

So, I’m 33, and I’ve got 4 children – all boys! I work as a Business Development Manager, coordinating all of the company’s efforts across the UK, North America and Europe, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I’m also planning events for the charity Autism Beaudon, Understanding Kindness (ABUK), as well as looking after my kids, so I look at it like 3 jobs!

My youngest boy, Oliver, he’s 4 and was recently diagnosed with non-verbal autism, which is naturally an additional challenge. He’s behind in terms of his development, and of course Oliver’s Mum has been absolutely brilliant, but it’s one of those things where I don’t think I knew how difficult it could be.


What does Autism Beaudon, Understanding Kindness (ABUK) do?

So, while I’m not directly involved in the charity yet, they’re dedicated to raising awareness about autism, and the struggles that children with autism – and their parents – can face. They’re based local to me in St Helens, and they run these amazing sessions that aim to engage kids with all kinds of autism. It’s amazing work, honestly, and you see firsthand how it can help.

The lady who runs it – Cordelia – she is incredible, and she knows exactly what parents and their kids are going through. The charity is actually named after her son, Beaudon, who’s 6 and he has non-verbal autism as well, so she really understands what me and Oliver’s Mum are going through.

It’s that kind of community spirit that really sets it apart, and means it’s making a huge, huge difference in the area.


What made you get involved with ABUK?

Honestly, I just want to do my part and help out with the connections I have. I know I’ve got all these people I’m connected with, and I really feel like I can make a massive difference in the events for ABUK.

It was one of those opportunities where, with having Oliver in my life as well, I know I can actually have an impact and I can make a difference to people’s lives, especially those struggling with autism or with kids who have it.

Ultimately though, I want to do it for Oliver, and to help make a difference to his life and to the people like Cordelia who are supporting kids with autism and non-verbal autism.


What do you want to achieve with this event?

The main aim for me is to raise awareness. That’s both for autism and non-verbal autism as a condition, for the ABUK charity, and for the work that Cordelia does with the sessions she runs as part of the charity.

I want people to have a good time as well – I’m hoping to use my connections to the world of sport and Hollyoaks to bring more people on board, and get them to see the amazing work I’ve seen. With an event like this, in our local area, it’ll only grow at a rapid pace.

I’d also like to take the opportunity to thank John and Churchill for supporting the event. I can only do so much with it myself, and to have the support of people like him, who I know really cares, is brilliant.


What do you want to achieve with ABUK in the future?

I’ve got so many plans for the future with ABUK, and this first event is only the beginning. It’s difficult to look past it at the moment, because so much goes into planning for it, but I really want to try and make this an annual thing, keep that ball rolling on generating awareness around autism.

After that, I’ve got tons of ideas of what I’d like to do, and the main one is getting into schools and speaking directly to the kids. I think it needs to start from there with assemblies and talks in schools, help the kids understand what it means to be autistic, how it can affect kids, and how they can get involved as well.

I want that awareness and that local community spirit to continue growing, with more people involved at every level that can really help bring ABUK to a wider audience, and help more and more people understand what it means.

I’m so excited to continue working with both FC St Helens and ABUK, and to continue bringing awareness to those who struggle with autism.


A Brief Word On This ABUK Event

Given the gusto with which Dave talks about this event, it’s only natural that we’d also be keen to promote it to our audience, and to draw attention to something that’s set to be an incredible, star-studded evening.

Organised in aid of the charity Autism Beaudon, Understanding Kindness, it’s an opportunity to provide much-deserved support to an immensely worthy cause. Our sponsorship only goes so far in shouting about our support of this initiative and the work that ABUK do, and with this article, we hope you gain some sense of our own enthusiasm for the event.

You’ll find much more information linked here on the associated event page, alongside a donation link if you’re unable to attend. Every penny, pound and even site visit helps, so just by being here you’re already making a difference.

With all that being said, we’d just like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Dave for his time, as well as ABUK and the charity organisers for allowing us the opportunity to sponsor such an incredible event.

John Melling

Group Chief Executive Officer

John has a proven track record for motivating and leading high performance teams and has helped mentor and develop many people at Churchill who now hold key or senior positions within the business. John is committed to delivering only the finest services, exercising compelling leadership, maintaining good internal morale and striving to resolve any challenges efficiently and effectively.